The first report of a Central Intelligence Agency officer sending ransom emails demanding bitcoin in exchange for concealing evidence of child porn was received March 16. Since then dozens of similar reports have come in, each demanding $10K USD payment to a different multi-sig address. As of this posting none of the reported addresses have received ransom payments.Continue reading New CIA Child Porn Bitcoin Ransom EMAIL
How successful has the bitcoin sextortion email campaign been?
Continue reading Popular Sextortion bitcoin addresses
The number of bitcoin ever to be mined may be capped at 21 million but the total supply will always be less. How much less is a critical valuation metric for bitcoin economists. There are a variety of ways and reasons bitcoin can be taken out of circulation. The purpose of this post is to examine one reason: “burn addresses”.Continue reading ~2 BTC Burned in 2018
There will be winners and losers in the race to become the best bitcoin extortionist emailer. The latest bitcoin scam email campaign looks like it will be one of the losers.
Starting this morning, from U.S. sources, BitcoinWhosWho.com began receiving reports of a fake bomb threat demanding $20k in bitcoin or a “mercenary” would blow up their building. So far no one has paid any of the 15 bitcoin addresses that have been identified. But, it would only take a few people falling for this to make it worthwhile for the scammer.
The email typically states the bomb or explosive device is made of “lead azide”, “Tetryl” or “Hexogen” but also “tronitrotoluene” has been reported.
Notably, the author really wants to be clear that everything is proceeding “according to my guide”. Oh, and BTW, the bomb will go off by the end of the day if you don’t pay.Continue reading Bitcoin Bomb Ransom Fizzled Out: No Payments Made By Deadline
The addition of two Iranian SamSam ransomware bitcoin addresses to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) list ushered in a new era in Know Your Customer, Counter Terrorist Financing and Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/CTF/AML) regulation compliance for bitcoin transactions. From now on, no one is allowed to transact with these two bitcoin addresses:
It’s a significant first. For responsible crypto exchanges and bitcoin ATMs operating in this wild west legal environment there are very few FREE KYC/CTF/AML compliance tools available. BitcoinWhosWho.com provides open-source data necessary to adhere to burgeoning global KYC/CTF/AML procedures involving bitcoin transactions.
- Monitor OFAC List
Prevent scam addresses from registering at an exchange.
- Bitcoin Transaction Profiling
Warn customers before they send bitcoin to an accused scammer.
- Wallet Risk Assessment
Mark wallets which have transacted with “scam” wallets to a higher degree of risk.
Almost a third of the scam reports came from the United States. Continue reading 42 Countries Report Sextortion Email Scam
Not all bitcoin sextortion attempts are occurring over email right now. Reports of a highly customized blackmail letter received in the mail and claiming to have “evidence” of a “secret you are keeping from your wife” and demanding payment in bitcoin in order not to tell, started coming in late 2017 and continue today. Krebs on Security blogged about this scam in January. Back then the amount demanded was around $2,500. In May typical reports had risen to around $8,500. Today the letters are demanding as much as $15,500. Continue reading Bitcoin Blackmail Letter Scam Raising Prices
Don’t pay it! No matter how convincing inclusion of that old password you used to use makes it seem, they don’t have video of you doing that. Don’t be embarrassed, if you considered paying the ransom email you’re not alone. So far 101 victims have sent 22.67 BTC to 37 of the 176 bitcoin addresses so far reported to be related to the new sextortion with/password scam email variation that first appeared July 10. Reports of previous versions of the same sextortion tactic without the password portion have been reaching us since October 2017. Inclusion of a password is unique over the last three weeks. Continue reading Sextortion With Password Email Scam Variant Makes 22.67BTC Over First 3 Weeks
A new twist on an old trick emerged this week. The porn ransom email claiming to have incriminating video of the recipient which will be released to contacts if not paid in bitcoin, has now included an old compromised password of the recipients in an attempt to add credibility to the scam. Gotta appreciate that dark web creativity. Where did they get all those passwords? The first report of this new variant was received July 10. Since then dozens more reports have come in relating to just over 2 dozen bitcoin addresses as of Friday. This address has been reported 9 times and also has the most total received at 2.83 BTC:
When reports of this email scam first started appearing last September the perpetrators were discovered to be using a Matbea wallet. That appears to have changed. On May 30 every output transaction from hundreds of reported blackmail scam addresses went to a Poloniex wallet address.
These bitcoin addresses were reported as scams related to the porn blackmail email:
Each of them shows an output to 1E2J2DAFGToqmTxK5H8fG6V3Tp3xqSiAm4 on May 30, 2018.
A quick investigation shows 1E2J2DAFGToqmTxK5H8fG6V3Tp3xqSiAm4 is among the Poloniex wallet cluster.